Gary was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 6th, 1959 to Albert and Mary Ann Kohlschmidt. He was the third of four brothers in a large German Catholic Family. The family lived in Milwaukee until he was in the third grade at which time they moved to a home on Lake Nagawicka. There Gary learned to fish, water ski and enjoy other lake activities. This was a passion he never gave up. Like his father, his home was a vacation spot away from the hustle of the business world. He was also involved in Boy Scouting which further increased his love for the outdoors. The family moved to Lewisville, Texas in 1973. Gary played football and basketball in middle school and continued basketball through high school.
After graduating high school, Gary enrolled in the Southern Methodist University for two years. He then transfered to The University of Texas at Austin. The love for his school and the cherished friendships he fostered there would continue for the rest of his life. A dedicated fan and proud alumni, he has been a member of the Texas Exes and attended every home football game he could for nearly 35 years.
After graduating from the University of Texas with a bachelors in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting, he would then move back to Dallas, receiving a job offer from Deloitte and Touche. Working for two and a half years in public accounting, Gary gained valuable experience and also met the love of his life. While performing the Financial Statement Audit for Schinley Liquor, Gary met Mariam Hensleigh. Dating clients was strictly forbidden, so Gary ended up leaving Deloitte a short while later so that he could marry Mariam.
Gary and Mariam would be married two years later and began their family in Corinth, TX, where they purchased their first house and welcomed their first child, Jill, into the world. Gary worked at Composite Technology at the time. He then took a position as the Chief Financial Officer of Regal International Inc., in Corsicana, Texas. A year later, Gary and Mariam moved their family to Mabank, Texas on Cedar Creek Lake. His childhood love for the lake was rekindled and never lost again. Weekly fishing trips, watching sunsets over the lake with his beautiful family, and sailing on the lake became Gary’s true passion. While living on Rock and Roll Lane in Mabank, Texas, Gary and Mariam welcomed 3 additional blessings into the world; Jacy, Jacob and Zachary. After nine years living at the lake, God had other plans for Gary in the form of CFO positions at Supreme Plastics in Gladewater, Texas and AvCraft Aviation in Tyler, Texas. Gary and his growing family moved to White Oak, Texas for the next 5 years. It was here that Gary fully experienced living in a small Texas town. He and his family would attend Friday night football games and grew to love the small-town charm.
In 2003, Gary received a job offer from the Infrastrux group in Sherman, Texas. God had determined it was time for Gary and the family to move again. They moved to McKinney, Texas. There he would spend the next 10 years as an active member in the neighborhood. He attended every one of his children’s sporting events. After 6 years at Infrastrux, Gary would move on the Dokosil Manufacturing where he served as the CFO and helped to facilitate the sale of the largest Pet Products manufacturer in the United States.
Next, Gary moved to International Development LLC in Roanoke, Texas. Gary chose to make the hour long commute for the next 7 years so that all his children could graduate McKinney High School without having to move.
Gary worked hard his entire life. He was forced into retirement when he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastasized melanoma in 2017. Gary was a fighter! He was given two months to live and managed to fight off cancer multiple times. He was able to enjoy life and family for an additional two years. He spent this time with his wife and family, returning once again to Cedar Creek Lake. In the last year he was blessed with two grand-daughters Charleigh and Hensleigh. His relationship with his family and friends was cherished and grew deeper during his battle with cancer. On the morning of May 27th 2019, Gary was headed out, on what would have been his final fishing trip with his brother Mark when his body finally gave up. Cancer overcame him and he collapsed, never to regain consciousness. He passed away while hugging his older brother. His wife and the rest of his family were nearby. His last words were, “I Love you too Brother,” as he peacefully joined Jesus Christ in Heaven.
During his lengthy 35 year career serving as the CFO at 6 different companies, he was always regarded as an understanding and compassionate boss. During his tenure across these companies Gary fostered many lasting friendships and business contacts. His legacy will live on in his family and with the people his life has touched.
Gary Micheal Kohlschmidt is survived by his wife Mariam, his children: Jill, Jacy, Jacob, and Zachary, and his grandchildren: Charleigh and Hensleigh. He will always be remember as a kind generous man who touched the lives of many people.